Most yogis look forward to the sweet bliss of resting in their savasana, or corpse pose, at the end of each practice. It’s a time of bringing awareness back to the breath, checking in with the body to determine what it needs, and just letting go of the everyday stress associated with daily life. Yogis work hard to incorporate rest into their regular yoga practice, but we don’t spend much time considering why it’s so fundamental to the practice.
Is it okay to skip this final resting pose occasionally? Some may be tempted to ask this question and skip a seemingly innocuous pose in favor of moving on with their day. However, you won’t want to miss these critical reasons why rest is such an essential part of the practice.
Rest Helps Our Body To Repair Itself
Both sleep and conscious rest such as that practiced in savasana or meditation is a crucial element to helping the body heal itself. Sleep gives our cells the chance to regenerate and work to repair the damage caused by the wear and tear of life. It can boost the immune system and help your white blood cells to fight off infections. It provides a genuine physical benefit that is linked to increased health in almost every way.
Conscious rest allows us to work on repairing our bodies differently. When we take the time to note areas of our body that feel tense, overworked, or underworked, we begin to formulate a plan for taking better care of ourselves. We need this time and space to fully process all of the incredible things our bodies do daily. We can better appreciate and respond to their needs when we are aware of their presence.
Rest Can Lower Anxiety
Similar to how the frantic pace of the workday takes a toll on our physical bodies, it also has significant consequences for our mental health. The thought of an infinite to-do list leaves us in a constant state of heightened anxiety. Even yogis are sometimes guilty of cramming in more activities than there are hours in the day. Anxiety makes it difficult to be fully present and intentional with each of your choices and interactions.
Taking the time to consciously rest and release the stresses of the day during savasana and other resting poses gives a break to your mind. Yogis may struggle with the idea of releasing each thought as it comes to mind at first. Over time, your body will crave the release and relaxation that comes from this type of rest.
You will be better able to move and make decisions in other areas of your life when you are attentive to your body’s need for rest. Both conscious and unconscious rest can play a huge role in the physical and mental health of an individual. Lower your anxiety and boost your health by taking the time out of a busy day to find true rest.